In her three surviving plays, Dicha y desdicha del juego y devoción de la Virgen, La margarita del Tajo que dio nombre a Santarén, and El muerto disimulado, Ángela de Azevedo systematically depicts men as inept at the art of mediation, while her female characters successfully negotiate solutions to conflicts between individuals and society. I consider the different conceptions of mediation that emerge from such theoretical notions as Jacques Lacan's symbolic order, René Girard's mimetic desire, and Victor Turner's communitas. Azevedo's characters attempt to make others submit to consensual systems of symbols, as in Lacan's scheme, to act as mediators of desire, as in Girard's theory, or to intervene to resolve disputes, as in Turner's model. Male mediation ultimately fails, marred by the tendency to sacrifice the desires of others for personal gain. The women, on the other hand, reject sacrificial dynamics and use peaceful arbitration to arrive at equitable solutions. Though such ideas are not exclusive to Azevedo's work, she treats them with distinctive emphasis and consistency.


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pp. 125-145
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